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Mass Effect Andromeda – 5 minutes of new gameplay

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Mass Effect Andromeda

Mass Effect Andromeda arrives in March 2017, and Bioware recently dropped five minutes of all new gameplay at The Game Awards, and it looks fantastic.

The new gameplay trailer is the most detailed look at Andromeda we've had yet, showing us combat, dialogue and vehicular exploration in all their galactic glory.

Andromeda will feature a brand-new cast of characters. That's right, no more FemShep. They will explore a beautiful galaxy as you befriend powerful new allies and make dangerous new enemies.

Keep this page bookmarked if you want to keep up with the latest on the Mass Effect Andromeda release date, news and other rumours.

Mass Effect Andromeda release date – When is it coming out?

Many of us were hoping for a release date reveal to accompany the N7 Day trailer, but that sadly isn’t the case.

Bioware is yet announce a concrete launch date for Andromeda, but still appears to be aiming for a March 2017 release. With any luck, we won’t see any further delays.

The above tweet features an image from an Amazon listing that appears to say Mass Effect Andromeda will be playable on March 21, 2017. Could this be the official release date?

Mass Effect Andromeda

Mass Effect Andromeda Story – What's it about?

Prior to the impending Reaper invasion, in the year 2185, several bastions of species band together to form the Andromeda Initiative. The goal of this pact is to reach the Andromeda galaxy, making new alliances and discoveries along the way. You can check out a few more details below, courtesy of Game Informer:

"Founded in 2176 and launched in 2185, the Andromeda Initiative is a civilian, multi-species project created to send scientists, explorers and colonists on a one-way trip to settle in the Andromeda Galaxy. With powerful benefactors lending their support, the program has grown substantially in scope since its inception. The Initiative’s ultimate goal is to establish a permanent presence on the seemingly resource-rich frontier of Andromeda, and eventually create a reliable route between it and the Milky Way Galaxy."

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You play as Scott or Sarah Riley, otherwise known as The Pathfinder, leading an elite squad of military-trained explorers across the Milky Way in search of Andromeda. It will no doubt be a fun, dangerous and compassionate adventure that will see you fend off galactic threats and form new relationships.

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Mass Effect Multiplayer – Ties with the solo campaign?

According to the latest reports, Mass Effect Andromeda does indeed have a multiplayer component, and not only that, it'll tie into the solo campaign too.

How exactly this works remains unclear, but it seems there's a greater metagame in play in which the modes will all tie together. According to Game Informer, here's what is known thus far about multiplayer:

- Mission funds obtained in multiplayer have “tendrils going out into the rest of the game,” according to lead designer Ian Frazier.

- Players have the option to jump straight from the single player campaign into multiplayer via the pause menu.

- “You will have possibilities to send teams to complete kind of side missions, or to do it yourself in multiplayer,” producer Fabrice Condominas told GI.

- Finally, Bioware has stated there's no obligation to engage with multiplayer for those who prefer to just play the solo campaign “If you feel cheated, we’ve done something wrong,” Frazier says.

This contrasts to Mass Effect 3 where that game's multiplayer component had an affect on the game's ending.

Mass Effect Andromeda gameplay – How does it play?

Andromeda will feature the same third-person template as previous games, complete with the moral decision making, dialogue choices and exploration that so many of us fell in love with back in 2007. It’s not all the same, however, with Bioware introducing a range of subtle yet impressive improvements to the overall experience. Now there’s a lot to get through here, so let’s start with the easy stuff: character creation.

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Customization options for your character in Andromeda are vastly improved, you can even alter the appearance of your father and sibling, although not as extensively. Bioware is yet to reveal any specifics on creation tools, but we imagine they’ll be a vast array of faces, hair and races to choose from.

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Mass Effect maintains its third-person combat with Andromeda, crafting a more confident identity with some finely tuned mechanics. Abilities are now hotkeyed instead of relegated to a cumbersome wheel, with cooldowns replaced by individual timers allowing for a clearer, more precise strategy in combat.

Game Informer’s hands-on time with Andromeda confirms it will feature a dynamic cover system similar to The Last of Us, meaning you won’t be fiddling about near walls in the midst of a firefight. Movement has been spiced up with the addition of a jetpack, letting you fly above enemies and across the battlefield with some daring new maneuvers. This should add an extra layer of verticality to combat and traversal that we haven’t seen before.

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The class system from previous games has been removed completely. You begin the game with access to all avenues of progression, whether you want to be a Biotic, Soldier or Vanguard. This should give players ample room to experiment with different play styles without having to create a new character. Points can also be reconfigured in each playthrough, so you’re never stuck with a single loadout.

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Ever since the first Mass Effect fans have clamoured for the return of the Mako, everyone’s favourite planet-hopping all terrain vehicle. The Nomad is your vehicle of choice this time around, and what it lacks in firepower it more than makes up for in speed. You can use The Nomad to navigate planets in search of story missions, side quests and general points of interest. Oh, and it be customized, too!

The Tempest is the name of our ship, replacing the iconic Normandy as a general base of operations for you and your crew. Walking about The Tempest will be a completely seamless experience, lacking any loading screens as you navigate different rooms and floors. The galactic map has also been overhauled, providing a genuine sense of movement as it soars across the galaxy.

Now it wouldn’t be a Mass Effect title without some serious decisions to be made, although Andromeda is making some brave yet welcome changes. The Paragon/Renegade system from previous games is gone, replaced by a system with far more subtlety and nuance. You will be forced to read the mood of tense situations, picking dialogue choices that reflect real feelings as opposed to a generic red/blue moral choice.

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Andromeda’s multiplayer will take the form of a four-player co-operative mode that is a more refined iteration of Mass Effect 3’s addictive horde offering. Microtransactions will be fuelled by an in-game currency, eliminating the need to spend any real money. Bioware plans to introduce custom missions with unique modifiers after launch, ensuring the multiplayer has a long and prosperous lifespan.

Mass Effect Andromeda Trailers – How does it look?

Despite being announced several years ago, we’ve only seen a few detailed clips of Mass Effect Andromeda.

The most recent trailer is easily the most impressive, revealing an abundance of details we’ve been waiting months for.

N7 Day 2016 trailer:

PlayStation Meeting 4K trailer:

Mass Effect Andromeda Special Editions – What’s in them?

Andromeda is a big release, so it makes perfect sense for EA and Bioware to release a shiny new special edition to mark the occasion.

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The Mass Effect Andromeda Collector’s Edition in exclusive to GAME in the UK, and will cost you £279.99 for the full package.

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Electronic Arts has also listed a Deluxe Edition for Andromeda that includes the following content:

  • Pathfinder casual outfit
  • Scavenger armor
  • Pathfinder Elite weapon set (4)
  • Pet Pyjak (monkey)
  • Digital soundtrack
  • Multiplayer Deluxe Launch Pack - $5 value

What would you like to see? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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